Status Update — March 1, 2013

After posting its final loans to Kiva in March 2012, Pearl Microfinance has now fully repaid Kiva lenders and by mutual agreement the account status has been changed to "closed". In over four years, Pearl raised more than $8 million of loans on Kiva for more than 35 thousand borrowers and successfully repaid lenders at a rate of 99.6%.

Status Update — May 29, 2012

As agreed upon in December 2011, Pearl has successfully paid off all installments of its restructured debt. However, due to recent administrative changes within Pearl, the lender repayment in April was late, resulting in a delinquency rate of 49.62%. Kiva will continue to assess the situation and keep lenders posted.  


Partner Description:

Vision — All economically active population of Uganda accessing financial services.

Mission — To be a leading Financial Institution providing suitable financial services to the economically active population in Uganda. 

Background  PEARL Microfinance Ltd is a company limited by shares. PEARL (Promotion of Economic transformation And Realization of sustainable Livelihood) was originally founded as a part of Feed the Children Uganda (FTCU). After 12 years working as the community-banking department of FTCU, Pearl spun off to work as a for-profit microfinance institution in July 2006 when it was registered as a company limited by shares.

PEARL grew its portfolio, and built its capacity, from donations, grants, and loans from a large variety of organizations: Canadian Feed The Children, SUFFICE, STROMME Foundation, Action Aid Uganda/European Union, ECLOF, Microfinance Outreach Plan, USAID- PRESTO, SPEED projects, Microfinance Support Center, OIKO Credit, Kiva, and Post Bank.

Currently, PEARL Microfinance is regarded as one of the most progressive micro-finance institutions in Uganda. It is an active member of the Association of Microfinance Institutions of Uganda (AMFIU) and Institute of Corporate Governance of Uganda (ICGU). AMFIU rates it in category A in terms of its operations, portfolio size and quality, outreach, operational/financial sustainability and other key aspects.

Operations — PEARL operates in 16 Districts of Uganda, using 11 branch offices and 3 field offices. Currently PEARL serves over 16,000 clients with a portfolio size of 2.5 million USD.

Types of Loans offered:

- Group Loans to community banking groups with membership of 15 - 45 people.

- Solidarity group loans to small groups of 5 – 15 members.

- Salary earner group loans to staff of institutions/organizations e.g Schools, Hospitals, Prisons and Police departments, NGOs etc.

- An agricultural loan product

- Individual loans

- SME (Small and medium sized enterprize) loans

Additional financial products offered:

- Savings mobilization through Commercial banks.

- Loan insurance to cover natural and accidental death of client.

Future Plans — Build a leading financial institution/company licensed by Bank of Uganda. Join our lending team: Friends of Pearl Microfinance Limited.


Status Update — December 28, 2011

Pearl's loan portfolio on Kiva is currently showing a relatively high delinquency rate at 35.02%, and we wanted to give you some more information about this situation.

Pearl is currently experiencing liquidity difficulties, which is impacting its ability to make its repayments to Kiva on time.  To assist Pearl, Kiva has agreed to restructure the remaining balance outstanding into three installments, to be paid over the next three months, along with regular monthly balances.  By April 2012, Pearl is expected to be current on delinquent repayments.

Liquidity is a payment timing issue, where the timing of funds due to be paid by an organization does not match the timing of incoming funds.  This is an issue all businesses must manage, but is more difficult to balance for an organization managing multiple repayment obligations, as most Kiva Lending Partners are.  In the current situation with Pearl, a currency devaluation of the Ugandan Shilling against the US Dollar, combined with Kiva's net billing system, contributed to a situation where Pearl experienced liquidity difficulties.

Recently, the Ugandan Shilling significantly devalued against the US Dollar.  As Kiva loans are made in US Dollar loans, currency fluctuations can impact Lending Partners.  In the case of Pearl, loans are received by Pearl in US Dollars, and loaned to the borrower in Ugandan Shillings.  In response to the currency devaluation, Pearl temporarily paused posting new loans on Kiva to wait until the currency had stabilized against the US Dollar.

At the same time as Pearl paused posting new loans, a large number of Pearl loan repayments came due.  Typically, repayments due would be offset by new funds being loaned, leaving only the difference to be paid in cash.  Kiva refers to this as our net billing system, meaning that we subtract the amount of repayments that a Lending Partner owes to Kiva lenders from the amount that a Lending Partner fundraises for borrowers on Kiva.  Because Pearl temporarily paused fundraising on Kiva, the difference to be paid in cash was much larger than usual, and Pearl faced liquidity constraints.

The new repayment structure, agreed between Pearl and Kiva, will result in continued high delinquencies over the next few months until the adjusted repayment schedule catches up to the original repayment schedule.

Status Update — May 5, 2010 

PEARL’s star rating has been changed from 4 stars to 3 stars. While Kiva takes many factors into account in assessing risk, recent turnover of key management staff at PEARL was a key driver in our revaluation of PEARL’s rating. Kiva will continue to monitor PEARL and update the partner page with substantive changes.

Repayment Performance on Kiva

    This Lending Partner All Kiva Partners
  Start Date On Kiva Sep 9, 2007 Oct 12, 2005
Total Loans $8,096,225 $1,958,174,645
Amount of raised Inactive loans $0 $177,800
Number of raised Inactive loans 0 139
Amount of Paying Back Loans $0 $160,798,330
Number of Paying Back Loans 0 188,174
Amount of Ended Loans $8,096,225 $1,768,209,155
Number of Ended Loans 3,526 2,369,978
Delinquency Rate 0.00% 12.26%
Amount in Arrears $0 $12,218,664
Outstanding Portfolio $0 $99,638,880
Number of Loans Delinquent 0 72,852
Default Rate 0.39% 1.83%
Amount of Ended Loans Defaulted $31,697 $32,286,917
Number of Ended Loans Defaulted 94 84,711
Currency Exchange Loss Rate 0.01% 0.50%
Amount of Currency Exchange Loss $587 $11,931,838
Refund Rate 1.43% 0.54%
Amount of Refunded Loans $116,075 $10,526,300
Number of Refunded Loans 53 9,596

Loan Characteristics On Kiva

    This Lending Partner All Kiva Partners
  Loans to Women Borrowers 62.01% 78.22%
Average Loan Size $233 $392
Average Individual Loan Size $560 $589
Average Group Loan Size $2,761 $1,891
Average number of borrowers per group 12.2 8.3
Average GDP per capita (PPP) in local country $1,800 $5,599
Average Loan Size / GDP per capita (PPP) 12.95% 7.00%
Average Time to Fund a Loan 4.98 days 8.93 days
Average Dollars Raised Per Day Per Loan $46.79 $43.87
  Average Loan Term 5.22 months 11.47 months

Journaling Performance on Kiva

    This Lending Partner All Kiva Partners
  Total Journals 2,348 1,178,265
  Journaling Rate 61.23% 42.27%
  Average Number of Comments Per Journal 0.27 0.02
  Average Number of Recommendations Per Journal 4.06 0.57

Borrowing Cost Comparison (based on 2009 data)

    This Lending Partner Median for MFI's in Country All Kiva Partners
  Average Cost to Borrower N/A 57.00% PY 27.02% PY
  Profitability (return on assets) N/A 4.5% -3.10%
  Average Loan Size (% of per capita income) N/A 61.00% 0.00%

Country Fast Facts

Lending Partner Staff

Stephanie Koczela